RAC ‘won’t risk repairman’s lives’ fixing car stuck at Appleby Horse Fair

The RAC reportedly refused to repair a car that had broken down on the last evening of the Appleby Horse Fair.

Janet Simpson claims she was stranded for six hours in the dark without any help after she was unable to start her car on Sunday evening.

The market trader said that RAC told her they wouldn't be sending someone out to help her, as they didn't want to put their drivers' lives at risk.

The 60-year-old – who pays £15-a-month for her RAC subscription – says her Dacia car would not start after she had enjoyed a day at the fair.

She called RAC and they promised to have someone out to her within the hour.

Over an hour later she called them again to check on their progress, but was less than satisfied with their response.

Speaking to MailOnline , Janet said the RAC admitted they had struggled to find a contractor who was willing to help.

She said: "They said they don't go out for gypsy fairs – they don't put their driver's life in jeopardy."

She said they told her they had contacted five different contractors trying to find a company who would be willing to go to Appleby.

At 1.30am on Monday morning she was told that she would have to leave her car and caravan and find a hotel. She waded through a field to meet a taxi that finally took her to a hotel.

The 60-year-old claims that she contacted Cumbria Police for 'assistance' until the taxi arrived but they refused to help saying 'it's not something we do.'

But a good Samaritan she knew through a traveller Facebook group came to the rescue.

She said if it hadn't been Richard William Short she would have been on her own all night, and added that it 'shouldn't matter what background you are from', and that it was discrimination that they hadn't attended her call out.

After a number of phone calls, a contractor finally turned up to help load her car and caravan on to a truck, which was delivered to her home in Skegness yesterday.

Janet suffers from arthritis said she was left unable to walk after having been made to wait in the cold for hours on end.

Janet said: "It's discrimination.

"I pay my subscription – the contract didn't say anything about attending travellers fairs."

She added that she has now had to move forward a hospital appointment due to the stress of the incident, and said she will be attending an appointment tomorrow. 

In a statement an RAC spokesperson said: "We would like to apologise to Miss Simpson for the delay in recovering her vehicle and caravan.

"As a result we paid for her to stay in a hotel for the night and for a 158-mile taxi journey to get her home the next day."

Thousands of travellers flock to Appleby in Cumbria each year and it is known to be one of the biggest events for the community.

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